The NFL and Covid-19

The+NFL+and+Covid-19

JD Horne, Photography

Before the season: The NFL implemented strict rules and guidelines for players and coaches to follow, the removal of all the preseason games, online training camps, and the necessity to wear masks. The NFL also gave teams designated Covid IR spots.

 

The (preseason) guidelines: 

  • All meetings held virtually 
  • All players, coaches and personnel must wear masks at all times
  • Small groups allowed in locker rooms for no more than 15 minutes
  • No in person attendance for fans or media

 

Week 1: Week one, the test has finally started. Before the games, all players, coaches and personnel got tested for covid, all tests come back negative. After week 1, only two confirmed covid cases.

 

Week 2: After a very successful week one, a very successful week 2 proceeds it. As before the game the NFL and its teams report 0 positive tests. 

 

Week 3: No positive covid cases before the NFL games this week. The Arizona Cardinals open stadium for 25% fan capacity.

 

Week 4: NFL gets a taste of reality, 3 teams enter Sundays slate with positive covid cases, the NFL postpones 2 of the games(Titans vs Steelers and Patriots vs Chiefs). Titans also punished for breaking corona policies (team workout outside of team facility)

 

Week 5: After a Covid outbreak in The New England Patriots locker room the NFL shut down their week 5 games (giving them a bye week, rescheduling their week 5 game) and rescheduling 7 other games throughout the season.

 

Week 6: Things seemed to get back on track after week 5, as every NFL team entered week 6 without a single Covid case.

 

Week 7: The Lv Raiders have now been hit by the Covid bug, following their starting LT getting a positive case, the entire offensive line group of the raiders got sent home. The nfl rescheduled 2 games after the outbreak (Raiders vs Buccaneers and Cardinals vs Seahawks). The Oakland raiders had to play this week 7 game without most of their offensive line due to corona guidelines.

 

Week 8: Things once again get back on schedule and no teams come back with any positive cases, no games rescheduled.

 

Week 9: Multiple teams have minor Corona outbreaks, no games rescheduled. Saints celebrate in the locker room without masks (even though they just played a whole game together without masks) nfl makes a big deal out of this and the Saints get fined half a million dollars and lose a 7th round draft pick.

 

Week 10: Cleveland Browns only team to have a positive Covid case, one game rescheduled but due to The Masters not Covid.

 

Week 11: The NFL changes corona policies, policies become very intense, minor amounts of teams have people on Covid list, Browns hit the hardest.

 

Week 12: Baltimore Ravens hit really hard by Covid, most teams have someone on the Covid list, no games rescheduled.

 

Week 13: Baltimore Ravens have over 20 Covid cases in their locker room, this game gets delayed 3 times to be played on Wednesday night, the Denver Broncos had a Covid case in their Quarterback room, causing this game to…… not be delayed? They couldn’t play any quarterbacks in this game, they played a practice squad wide receiver, what is this nonsense NFL ?

 

Future: After the rest of the sports world entered a “playoff bubble” the NFL and Roger Goodell seems to avoid it, saying it’s not needed even though there is Covid outbreaks all over the place. The NFL seems to think that what they are doing right now is working, and if they need change, just punish the teams harder and yell at the players. Things aren’t looking good.

 

Interview: Dylan Fogarty 

  1. How do you think they have handled the Covid outbreak?

 

“I think they’ve done an okay job, I think it has been unfair for some teams that didn’t have any positive tests and they have to wait to play their games against teams that have not been following the protocols.”

 

  1. Do you feel these actions have been working?

 

“Not really because it seems like some teams are still not following the proper protocols and the NFL is not punishing them enough for it”

 

  1. What’s your opinion on players having to wear masks in the locker room even after playing an entire game without them?

 

“I think it’s the right thing because there’s not only players in the locker room and all the coaches, staff and players have to wear them on the sideline”

 

  1. Some NFL fans have speculated some favoritism in the NFL, most specifically due to the Ravens/Steelers game being pushed back multiple times, but the Broncos game being played even though they don’t have a quarterback. How would you respond to this?

 

“I think that they kept pushing back the Ravens game because positive tests were still coming in everyday so they didn’t know who came into contact with each other so it would not have been safe. For the broncos they did all the contract tracing and it was only the quarterbacks so they had to just deal with it”

 

  1. The league tests players and coaches regularly, why be so strict on the field with masks when everyone on the field has been COVID negative?

 

“Because they could come in contact  with someone outside of football and they could get a false negative test or be asymptomatic, also they might not get symptoms for up to 14 days “

 

  1. How do you feel about possibly having a playoff bubble?

 

“I think it’s a good idea it worked out really well for the NBA and NHL they had no positive tests while in their bubbles and I think it is the safest thing.”

 

  1. How do you feel about the Saints being punished so harshly for celebrating in the locker room?

 

“I think it was the right thing because they didn’t follow the protocols”

 

  1. The 49ers have had some problems with COVID, as a solution they are playing their next 2 home games at the Cardinals home stadium. Do you feel this is unfair to the 49ers? Do you feel like there could be a possible cross-contamination issue?

 

“I don’t really see it affecting them that much because there’s no fans allowed and I don’t think there would be any cross contamination if everyone does the right thing.”

 

  1. Do you have any concern that the season may not be finished? Why?

 

“No I think they will do what they have to to finish the season and make sure everyone is safe while doing it”

 

  1. Do you feel fans should be allowed in statidums? Why?

 

“No because it’s not fair if some teams allow it and others don’t because now the home team gets and unfair advantage over the away team.”

 

Interview: Riley Soucy

 

  1. How do you feel the NFL has handled the covid outbreak?

 

“I think they could’ve done a better job of enforcing masks.”

 

  1. Do you feel the NFLs actions have been working?

 

“Not really because a lot of players have got the virus.”

 

  1. What’s your opinion on players having to wear masks in the locker room even after playing an entire game without them?

 

“It makes sense because theyre inside vs being outside.”

 

  1. Some NFL fans have speculated some favoritism in the NFL, most specifically due to the Ravens/Steelers game being pushed back multiple times, but the Broncos game being played even though they don’t have a quarterback. How would you respond to this?

 

“I think the broncos game should’ve been postponed and all games should be treated the same.”

 

  1. The league tests players and coaches regularly, why be so strict on the field with masks when everyone on the field has been COVID negative?

 

“Because players and coaches can get the virus from anyone at the most random times, take dez bryant for example, you never know.”

 

  1. How do you feel about possibly having a playoff bubble?

 

“I think it makes a lot of sense but why start it now after going the whole season without a bubble.”

 

  1. How do you feel about the Saints being punished so harshly for celebrating in the locker room?

 

“I think what should’ve happened is the league just says they need masks in the locker room, no need for a fine.”

 

  1. The 49ers have had some problems with COVID, as a solution they are playing their next 2 home games at the Cardinals home stadium. Do you feel this is unfair to the 49ers? Do you feel like there could be a possible cross-contamination issue?

 

“There could be cross contamination issues but their issue is with their state, not unfair if it’s something that doesn’t have to do with the league.”

 

  1. Do you have any concern that the season may not be finished?

 

“They’re gonna finish it.”

 

  1. Do you feel fans should be allowed in stadiums? Why?

 

“Do it like KC and it’ll be fine.”